Interview with Chivas USA Director of Marketing Alex Gallegos

chivasIn a year in which most MLS teams are struggling at the gate, one of the success stories has been Chivas USA.  According to these numbers, Chivas attendance is up more than 6%.   As part of our ongoing interview series with MLS marketing personell, we had an opportunity to chat with Alex Gallegos, the Chivas USA Director of Marketing.  Mr. Gallegos is a graduate of Pepperdine University.  He has spent time as Manager of Street Promotions for DMG Records and more recently, the Director of Promotions for KFWB 980 Dodgers Radio Baseball Netork and NFL Radio Network Los Angeles.  Since 2004 he has been the Diretor of Marketing for Chivas USA.

Thanks to Mr. Gallegos.  Please check out some of our other interviews with MLS marketing executives including Davy Ratchford, Director of Marketing for RSL, Dynamo Senior VP Rocky Harris, Revolution COO Brian Bilello and Kansas City VP of Marketing and Communications Rob Thomson. What is Chivas doing differently for marketing in 2009?  How has the economy changed/impacted those efforts?

Alex Gallegos: We have instituted a ton of different programs either marketing, community or sales based, they are as follows:

All You Can eat Section
Stimulus mini- 5 game plan

Practices in the Community

Partnerships with the City of Hope, Special Olympics and the American Lung Association

School of the game

Band of the game

Family and kids packs

All aimed at community involvement, affordable entertainment and fan development

FB: In 2009, many teams in MLS seem to be struggling at the gate.  Yet Chivas seems to be doing quite well, and to date, numbers appear to better than last year.  To what to you attribute that success?

AG: A stronger market presence, diversified advertising avenues

A sales dept that is more veteran and versed in the soccer sales ways

Leadership from our CEO Shawn Hunter

A great team that makes it easy to highlight what we do on the field and off

A stronger presence in the community

Great media and corporate partners

FB: How have Chivas utilized online avenues such as social networking sites, SUM’s new online ad network, etc… to market the team?  Do you find that these efforts increase interest in Chivas or impact attendance?

AG: We have had or launched myspace, facebook, txt message, viral video and online ad programs. We are analyzing twitter and launched all to give our fans a better place to congregate, tell more fans and spread our word for us. It is helping little by little.

FB: What unique challenges does Chivas face as one of two teams in Los Angeles?  Most teams just compete against teams in other sports, while Chivas must compete against the Galaxy in their own stadium.  How do you deal with the further segmenting of the potential MLS fan base?

AG: We simply identify what makes us Chivas and let the consumer make the choice, we’re not trying to make anyone chose a side,  we’re open to anyone that likes soccer, that likes entertainment or that wants a fun environment and experience for their family.  We touch on things like our game atmosphere, price affordability, access to our players, community programs, customer service etc…

FB: Is it inconsistent/challenging for teams to target “hard core” supporters, non-soccer sports fans and families?  How do you resolve those inconsistencies/challenges?

AG: We make a lot of invites, we have a lot of guests that we invite to our games on us.  We do this so that they can experience our games and make the decision to come back on their own, more often then not they love our games and really are receptive to coming back and telling their friends. Were building fans through multiple programs, one fan at a time.

7 Responses

  1. Chivas is an interesting test case for the hypothesis that winning brings fans. They have been good the last couple of years. I wonder if the increased attendance is related to that or if it is a marketing team.

    Who makes up their fans? Is it mostly Chivas fans from Mexico or soccer fans who hate the Galaxy?

  2. What about radio broadcasts of the games in ENGLISH for its non-Spanish speaking fans?

    This is rather insulting given the fact that the team is in Los Angeles not and Guadalajara.

    why so much dependence on the Chivas de Guad brand?

  3. didn’t the team start as an offshoot to the mexican club? wasn’t that the business model? besides….who can listen to soccer on the radio?

  4. are front office is doing a great job they are always consern about the fans and listen to you when you need something yes i think we need radio in english and know that the f.o. is working really hart on that we are going to get it

    do galaxy have their games in english radio

  5. Rebano Gringo,

    I must say you guys are doing better then last year, however I still don’t see English input more into the team, I know it takes time, but their are other ways to market market the team without Guadalajaras influence. I am a chivas USA fan/USMNT not Guadalajara fan. Maybe you guys should considered that.

  6. […] we have focused on the efforts of individual teams to convert soccer fans to MLS fans.  We have interviewed various front office personnel, analyzed marketing efforts targeted to hardcore fans and interviewed soccer fans around the […]

  7. […] In other sponsorship/marketing news, Chivas USA is promoting a “kids night” where a child under 16 is free with the purchase of an adult ticket.  The promotion is good for the match this Saturday and two subsequent games during the season.  As we have discussed, Chivas is one team that has managed to weather the economic storm this season and increase attendance.  Click here for our interview with Chivas Director of Marketing Alex Gallegos. […]

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